Care by Volvo: is it worth the cost?

Want a new car with all costs - bar fuel - in one monthly payment? Care by Volvo offers this, but there can be cheaper ways to run a Volvo

Chris Rosamond
Nov 19, 2019

You don’t have to own a new car to enjoy the benefits of driving one; just like PCP finance deals, Personal Contract Hire (PCH) lease deals are becoming increasingly popular. Care by Volvo is the name of the Swedish brand’s in-house leasing package, and it aims to make life as simple as possible by wrapping up all the major costs of running a car – apart from fuel – into a regular fixed month payment.

It's purely a hire deal though, so there’s no chance to own the car like you would get at the end of a PCP finance contract - no matter how much you may love it. It can also be more difficult to return the car early or trade up to a new model ahead of time than it is with PCP finance. Check out our compehensive guides to car finance to get your head around exactly how it all works and to work out which type of finance best suits your needs.

What does Care by Volvo include?

Care by Volvo sounds like a great idea on paper. You pay a fixed monthly fee for a two or three-year lease contract that not only puts you in the driving seat of a brand new Volvo, but also covers all the associated costs of ownership over the course of your contract. However, having all these costs rolled into one payment means that each monthly payment is likely to be much higher than with a standard finance deal - especially as there's no up-front deposit.

As well as covering ‘hire’ payments for the new car you’ll be driving, Care by Volvo includes all service, maintenance and repair costs – including any repairs that may be unexpected – as well as giving you the option of including insurance. Be aware, though, that if you live in a high risk area or have a patchy driving history, the insurance element might add a substantial chunk to the overall bill - just as it would if you organised it yourself.

All that, and a pick-up and delivery service too. If you run into problems or need to book a routine service, simply contact the call centre and you won’t even have to drive the car to the garage. Your local Care by Volvo dealer will collect the vehicle and return it to you once the work has been completed.

 

Other attractive features of Care by Volvo include 'connected services' such as Volvo On Call – operated by a button inside the car, this hooks you up with a Volvo Roadside operator who can help in recovery or accident scenarios – breakdown cover with 24/7 roadside assistance, windscreen replacement and even tyre replacement. As ever, it’s advisable to read the small print. While worn tyres will be replaced, when replacement is required following a puncture the driver must still cough up and there’s an excess of £80 on windscreen replacement too, which could be necessary if you pick up stone chips in the glass in front of the driver's seat.

The optional Care by Volvo insurance provides comprehensive cover for the policyholder and up to two named drivers, and the policyholder is covered for business use too. VED - also known as road tax - is also included so, all being well, there shouldn’t be anything else to pay for apart from fuel.

Which models does Care by Volvo cover?

The scheme was launched with the Volvo XC40 compact SUV back in 2017, but now has been extended to cover all the models in the Volvo line-up.

That means you can get a Care by Volvo deal on the full range of XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, the V90 and V60 estate models, and the S90 and S60 saloons.

Is Care by Volvo cost-effective?

There’s no doubt that rolling all your costs into one fixed monthly payment is simpler than having to sort out your own road tax and insurance, or indeed, budget for your new car to be serviced. That’s the big appeal of the scheme, which Volvo hopes will account for nearly a quarter of its new car registrations within a few years.

While ease of ownership is a luxury that some people can afford to enjoy - albeit without actually owning their car as it’s on a lease - others will want to look very closely at the sums, to see how much of a premium they might be paying and ask themselves just how much of a hardship it is to search for insurance online, or drive the car to the dealer for a service.

As always, savvy buyers will be interested in the savings that can be made buying a pre-registered, nearly new or used Volvo. Even going for a practically brand new 69-plate Volvo V90 with just 71 miles on the clock could save you £12,965 compared with a brand new model that would have cost £40,465 new. That means that if you want the best value it's worth comparing Care by Volvo with the cost of financing a nearly new or used model - especially as savings vary model by model, so some Care by Volvo options may prove better value than others.

It’s also important to know Care by Volvo prices are set by your local dealer, not fixed by Volvo centrally. That means it’s definitely worth shopping around for quotes, as costs could vary depending upon which dealer you talk to, so choosing the Care by Volvo lease deal is not necessarily as straightforward as you might hope.

Care by Volvo monthly payments vs PCP finance

As Care by Volvo rates are set by local dealers, there is no set figure for what any specific model should cost per month. However, Volvo has supplied us with what it calls representative examples, so think twice if you’re asked to pay more.

The XC40 T3 Momentum costs £393 per month to lease over three years with a 30,000-mile limit and no deposit, or £469 per month if you want to include full maintenance and insurance. That comes in at more than the £389 per month the same car would cost on PCP over the same period and mileage, with zero deposit. With the PCP option, you also have the choice to buy the car at the end of the contract, making this the more flexible, better value option if you're happy sorting out your own servicing, road tax and insurance etc.

The Volvo S90 T4 Momentum Plus Auto, meanwhile, costs £357 or £449 per month with the full Care by Volvo package. The same car on PCP, meanwhile, is likely to cost around £525 per month with the same contract terms, making Care by Volvo look like a very good value option.

The V60 D3 Momentum Plus estate, on the other hand, comes in at £401 or £481 per month with maintenance and insurance, compared with £491 on an equivalent PCP. Again, if you're sure that you don't want the option to own the car at the end of the contract and you understand that it may be more difficult and expensive to end a car lease early compared with PCP, then this could be a savvy way to run a V60 for a low overall cost.

 

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